Probe cites safety in 2010 gulf oil spill

July 24, 2012 at 8:42 AM
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HOUSTON, July 24 (UPI) -- A U.S. investigation into the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico suggested worker safety and performance trumped disaster prevention for BP and Transocean.

In 2010, sea water, oil and natural gas was ejected up to the platform, struck an ignition source and an explosion on caused BP's Deepwater Horizon rig. Eleven rig workers died in the accident that led to one of the worst offshore oil disasters.

An audit by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board found that companies such as BP and rig-owner Transocean focused more on issues that could lead to a work slowdown more than on the factors that may have contributed to the spill.

"BP and Transocean had multiple safety management system deficiencies that contributed to the Macondo incident," the Houston Chronicle quoted the report as stating.

The board took note of worker safety issues when it reviewed the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2007. A report from U.S. regulators determined that the blowout that led to the explosion that sunk the Deepwater Horizon platform came from the failure of a cement barrier at the underwater well.

BP and Transocean officials were cited by the Houston newspaper as saying there were committed to enhancing operational safety measures.

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